Christmas Day 1796. Parson James Woodforde, Rector of Weston Longville, writes his diary.
"This Day the coldest we have had yet and Frost more severe. It froze all the Day long and within Doors, the last Night intensely cold. Mr Corbould [Woodforde’s curate] read Prayers & administered the H Sacrament this Morning at Weston Church. He called on us as he went and also on his return from Church. He said the cold at Church was so great as to make him tremble again. We did not go, the Weather being so severe. This being Christmas Day, the following People had their dinner at my House, Widow Case, old Thos. Atterton, Christ. Dunnell, Edwd Howes, Robt Downing and my Clerk Thos. Thurston. Dinner to day, Surloin of Beef rosted, plumb Puddings and mince Pies. My Appetite this cold Weather very bad. The Cold pierces me thro’ almost on going to bed, cannot get to sleep for a long time. We however do not have our beds warmed. Gave the People that dined here to day before they went, to each of them 1 Shilling… After they had dined they had some strong Beer."
From James Beresford (Ed), "The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802" (OUP, 1935).